By MANIFESTO JOE
I'm convinced that history will remember Tony Blair as Bush's enabler: the ally who lent tragic "legitimacy" to rogue actions that at least temporarily destroyed both U.S. and British credibility on the world stage. After 10 years, this is his only legacy, and it has a very bitter look.
Blair has announced that he will step down as prime minister soon, leaving the Labour Party to see what can be salvaged of its damaged reputation at home. I doubt that Britons really want to go through many more rounds of Thatcherism or John Major, so someone will probably be able to resurrect Labour for a new generation.
But the harm Blair has done has been staggering on many levels. He has announced his imminent departure just as two British officials have been convicted of leaking a classified memo about a meeting between "Poodle" Blair and Il Doofus himself, in violation of something called the Official Secrets Act. (I suppose I shouldn't sound condescending here. The U.S. appears to be moving far beyond the likes of this.)
This news from The Canadian Press:
David Keogh, a cipher expert who was convicted on two counts, had admitted passing on the secret memo about April 2004 talks between the two leaders in which Bush purportedly referred to bombing Arab broadcaster Al-Jazeera.
Keogh was accused of passing the memo to co-defendant, Leo O'Connor, 44, who in turn handed it to his boss, Tony Clarke, then a legislator who voted against Britain's decision to join the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Keogh, 50, told London's Central Criminal Court he felt strongly about the memo, which he had to relay to diplomats overseas using secure methods, and hoped it would come to wider attention.
"The main person in my mind was John Kerry, who at the time was American candidate for the U.S. presidential election in 2004," Keogh had testified.
He admitted holding "unfavourable" views on Bush, but said he did not think publishing the document would hurt Britain's security or international relations.
The Daily Mirror newspaper reported that the memo showed Blair arguing against Bush's suggestion of bombing Al-Jazeera's headquarters in Doha, Qatar. The Daily Mirror said its sources disagreed on whether Bush's suggestion was serious.
Yeah, so Il Doofus was just joking. I had honestly hoped that he was kidding when he started talking about invading a foreign country with no solid evidence for such an action. The problem with his jokes is that they are "practical" ones, with enormous consequences.
And, there are more problems plaguing The Poodle Dude. This from The Associated Press:
Blair's last months in office also have been overshadowed by a police investigation into claims that his party and the opposition traded political honors for cash. Senior Blair aide Ruth Turner, Blair's chief fundraiser Lord Levy and two others have been arrested during the police inquiry into claims that seats in the House of Lords and other honors were awarded in exchange for party donations. Prosecutors are considering whether anyone should be charged.
Blair was questioned twice by police as a witness, but is not considered a suspect.
Blair had a unique opportunity to have stood against a manifestly unbalanced leader of the Western world and resisted an action that has killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people; one that has seriously set back U.S.-British relations with the rest of the world for at least a generation. He chose to be led on a leash.
There are those who defend Blair based on domestic policies. He is said to have done much to help Britain's poor. Sadly, whatever he did in this regard will always be overshadowed by his decision to blindly follow the most foolish and reckless leader the U.S. has ever had. It will be his albatross for life.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.